This may seem like a no brainer. Being nice to people makes a better impression than if you are a jerk. You have at least a 90% chance of a smile back if you smile and say “hello” to a stranger walking down the street or in the grocery store. We try to be nice to our neighbors (unless their dog never stops barking) to create a happy and comfortable community in which we live. So, why don’t we do this more in business? Sure, we talk about our weekend plans at the water cooler in the office and we’re polite in meetings, but I’m talking about being a person others actually want to be around.
A few weeks ago I asked a simple question to my followers on Linkedin:
Do you say "hello" to strangers when you are walking down the street or at a public place? Or, if someone says "hello" to you, do you say "hi" back?
Not surprisingly, the majority of people said "Yes!" with enthusiasm. I have no doubt they are all telling the truth but if everyone said yes, why do so many people not respond or look away? My only explanation is that if you surround yourself with happy, kind, and compassionate people, you will feel the happiness, kindness and compassion you give.
Since Beacons Point, Inc opened its doors 6 years ago, I have had many jobs and took on many roles that have all included talking with clients and prospective clients. Nowadays, I spend the majority of my time trying to talk with, at times, complete strangers or people I have just met. When I first took on the role of Business Development, I was not sure how well I would do. I'm outgoing and I can strike up a conversation with ease but it’s not always my first reaction. If I’m at an event and had to choose between walking up to a group of people who are engaged in conversation or hitting the buffet line for food, I would choose food almost every time.
Our core value as a company has always been to be genuinely good people, people who actually care about not only your business, but you as a person. While starting my new business development journey I lost track of that. I was not having the success I was hoping for, not scheduling enough meetings or landing many new clients. This wasn’t because I was rude or off-putting. I was so caught up in the sales manuals, prospecting, cold calls and value propositions that I forgot to think about what the experience the person on the other end of the phone or table was having.
But, at last, I came to my senses. A few months back, I was on a call with a prospect who said “You guys are very nice and we can tell you are genuinely good people”. At first, I thought this was their way of letting us down easy, making me feel good before saying they weren’t interested, but that wasn’t the case. We secured them as a client and it was a win for the nice guys! A few days passed and I had some time to reflect on the call and how it led to a new partnership. I was determined to find out what about our call helped this client decide to hire us. What did I say or do to come across so easily as my genuine self and earn their business and trust?
The inbound methodology is based on providing educational and valuable content to your potential customers. Provide answers they are looking for or resources that would benefit them for free and in return you gain their trust in your company and return to you as a source of credible information. Once they are ready, they will reach out to you via email sign up, social media or a contact form. Why should the sales process be any different?
In the last 4 months, I have changed my messaging and strategy. Be a resource, be helpful, and be nice. From prospecting to exploratory calls, I have made a better effort to actually get to know the person I am working with and not just talk sales and business. Some people don’t want to, and that's totally fine, but the people who do want to talk more than just business often value our conversations and are the ones we now call clients. By getting to know me more, they felt more comfortable talking with me about their sales and marketing objectives, why they have these objectives, and how we can help them get to where they need to be. I was able to create a connection with them so they were able to trust that myself and my team will do everything we can to help achieve their goals.
For me, being kind has paid off, not only in business but personally. Your happiness and energy is contagious, so why not give it a try?
I would love to hear about your experiences so please, share below!
P.S -If you need something to make you instantly happy, check out these dogs taking a group selfie.